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Deputy President Mabuza calls for focus on the family unit in the regeneration of a new society

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During the first Oral Replies to the National Assembly since the declaration by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the COVID-19 national state of disaster, Deputy President David Mabuza called on South Africans to ensure that we build a society that will respect women. 

Deputy President Mabuza asserted that the severity of gender-based violence in South Africa is so grave and grim, and calls on every one of us to fight it with the same vigor as we fought and defeated the ugly system of apartheid. 

This was in response to a question by Ms Fikile Masiko, of the African National Congress on the impact of the “She Conquers” campaign in curbing the escalation of Gender Based Violence aimed at Adolescent Girls and Young Women. Deputy President Mabuza highlighted some of the work that is ongoing within the ambit of the campaign, wherein almost 19 000 young boys and girls have participated in violence prevention programmes in various districts. 

The “She Conquers” campaign was launched in June 2016 aimed at decreasing new HIV infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women, decrease teenage pregnancies, increase the retention of young girls in school until matric, decrease sexual and gender-based violence against adolescent girls and young women, and increase their economic opportunities. 

The Deputy President has previously stressed that in a civilised society, women and girl-children have the same rights as men, and those rights are fundamental and should be respected as such by all. At family level, parents and guardians must play a role in socialising their children in the same manner and not put the rights of boys above those of girls. 

Fielding questions from Members of Parliament, Deputy President Mabuza reiterated that gender-based violence is tearing apart at the fabric of our society, as women and children are losing life at the hands of men almost on a daily basis. 

In the same debate, Deputy President Mabuza contended that COVID-19 and the Lockdown has brought along an increase in the cases of gender-based violence, and vulnerability of Adolescent Girls and Young Women to abuse. He lauded staff that is providing trauma containment and immediate health support, especially essential staff and linkage officers who provided virtual follow-up and psycho-social support services to those affected. 

Deputy President Mabuza said the “She Conquers” campaign proves to be more important now as it gives our nation an opportunity to go back to the drawing board in order to uproot this social cancer from our society. He emphasised the importance of programmes such as Takuwa Riime, as they bring responsible men on board to be at the forefront alongside women in fighting for justice and equality of women in our society. 

Deputy President Mabuza is Patron of the Takuwa Riime initiative, which is a call to action for men by men to stand up and be counted as meaningful partners in the health and socio-economic development of communities. In accepting patronship of the initiative, Deputy President Mabuza said, “For if we as men, can find ourselves, we can advance the moral regeneration of the male soul. Then, we can serve as positive role models to future generations. We can mentor the boy-child and inspire confidence in them to love women and treat their bodies with respect. For it is crucial that we begin to imprint positive values and bequeath a legacy of non-violence against women and children.” 

The Deputy President called on parliamentarians to action. “For us the time to talk on issues of gender-based violence is over, time is of the essence, we need to act now and act decisively in tackling all challenges faced by the women of our country.” said Deputy President Mabuza. 

Deputy President called on the Police to prioritise cases of gender based violence that have been reported and act swiftly in order to bring justice to the victims. 

Media enquiries: Matshepo Seedat, Media Liaison Officer in the Office of the Deputy President on 082 679 9473 or Matshepo@presidency.gov.za

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria